The Pro-Conti and SSR Corner: The Cobbles and Crashes Edition

Ack! Cees Bol win

It’s been slow on the SSR front for the last few weeks, though we did get an exciting and rainy edition of Industry and Artichokes, as well as exciting (to different degrees) but crash-marred editions of Nokere Koerse and the Bredene Koksijde Classic. Max Schachmann took the big Artichoke, while Cees Bol and Pascal Ackermann respectively won the two Belgian SSRs. Too bad that Sunweb is SSR-phobic, or we may have had the chance to see Bol dominating more races. Ackermann’s victory in the-race-formerly-known-as-Handzame was dominant, and likely gave him some assurances against an Irish Giro takeover, but how does a single one day SSR victory compare to Sam Bennett’s 2 WT victories at Paris-Nice? It’s a good problem for Bora to have, though, as they now have three of the best sprinters in the peloton and the competition amongst them is resulting in some great performances. As the heart ...

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Valverde and Landa headline Movistar at Milan-San Remo

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

World champion Alejandro Valverde headlines Movistar ’s team for Milan-San Remo , while Mikel Landa will make his comeback from injury at La Classicissima on Saturday. Landa sustained a broken collarbone in a crash during his first race of the season, the Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx at the Challenge Mallorca in January. He has been side-lined ever since, but will ride Milan-San Remo before staying in Italy to tackle next week’s Settimana Coppi e Bartali. The Basque rider is also expected to line out at the Tour of the Basque Country next month. Landa has stated his intention to ride both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2019. Milan-San Remo was a relatively late addition to Valverde’s racing programme, and he will then line out at the Volta a Catalunya, which gets underway 48 hours later. The Spaniard last appeared at Milan-San Remo in 2016, when ...

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Offseason Capsule: CCC

What can we expect from the newest WT team? Today we wrap up our offseason capsules series with the nineteenth report. CCC have picked up a World Tour license for the first time this season, and are born of a combination of the pro-Conti CCC team and the now-defunct World Tour BMC team. That’s two TLAs* for the price of one. I hate HTEA.** They bring ambition, bright orange jerseys, and a sprinkling of talented riders. What we said last year We didn’t. Obviously. Though we covered BMC , and we wrapped up their final season in the first of these 2018/19 capsules. What we got in 2018 I’ve no desire to rake through BMC’s year again, but will turn briefly to CCC, who had a quiet year. In VDS terms, their 1,309 points would have ranked 27 th as a rider, and they were paced by Jan Tratnik and ...

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The natural: Jimmy Whelan isn’t riding like a WorldTour rookie

The stitches came out of Jimmy Whelan’s chin two days ago. You can still see where the chainring lodged itself in his face at the Aussie Road Nationals earlier this month but the wounds seem to be healing well. It’s looking like he won’t have a scar which, as Whelan notes with a smile, is … The post The natural: Jimmy Whelan isn’t riding like a WorldTour rookie appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Powless: You never know when you'll have a break-out moment

Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo)

Young riders tend to get handed their share of harsh lessons in their debut season at WorldTour level, but Neilson Powless had all the appearances of a very quick learner when he emerged at the head of the peloton on the Cipressa at Milan-San Remo in March. Just three races into his professional career – and more than six hours into his first-ever Monument Classic – the American cut an assured figure as he piloted LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Danny van Poppel towards the front. A puncture on the Poggio would see Powless come home almost three minutes down on lone winner Vincenzo Nibali, but it was an auspicious start nonetheless. A neo-professional will invariably face peaks and troughs over the course of the year, but moments like that cameo on the Riviera would sustain Powless over the course of his first season with LottoNL-Jumbo, which he brought to a close at ...

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Przemysław Niemiec to retire after 17 seasons - News Shorts

Przemyslaw Niemiec (Team UAE Emirates)

Przemysław Niemiec ( UAE Team Emirates ) has announced his retirement from the pro peloton after 17 seasons. Niemiec will race in the Tour of Turkey for his final race starting on October 9. The 38-year-old Polish rider has been with UAE team Emirates since 2017 after joining its precursor, Lampre, in 2011. Before Lampre, Niemiec rode on the Continental level with Italian and French teams. A talented climber, Niemiec scored a stage win at the 2014 Vuelta a España and finished sixth overall at the 2013 Giro d'Italia. He scored 13 UCI wins in his career, including overall victory at the Tour de Slovenie in 2005. He also won stages in Giro del Trentino, Route du Sud, Coppi e Bartali and Tour of Turkey. Bjerg set for Hour Record attempt U23 time trial world champion Mikkel Bjerg ( Hagens Berman Axeon ) will attempt to beat his own Danish ...

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Getting the spark back: Kennaugh presses the reset button on his career

L’Equipe was exaggerating, but its recent headline ‘Le règne sans fin’ – the unending reign – had elements of truth to it. Since 2012 British riders have won the Tour de France a staggering six out of the past seven years. Bradley Wiggins got the ball rolling in 2012, Chris Froome took over the following … The post Getting the spark back: Kennaugh presses the reset button on his career appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Tour de France: Craddock hoping to start stage 2 following crash

Lawson Craddock (EF Education First-Drapac) crashes but finishes stage 1 at the Tour de France

EF Education First-Drapac 's Lawson Craddock battled back from a crash to finish the opening stage of the Tour de France , and hopes he can recover sufficiently to start stage 2 on Sunday. Craddock, who won the mountains classification at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali stage race in March, finished stage 1 on Saturday in last position, 7:50 behind winner Fernando Gaviria. The American, riding his second Tour de France, crashed into a spectator when avoiding a dropped water bottle at the feed zone in Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard, half-way through the 201km stage from Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile to Fontenay-Le-Comte. After bravely hobbling the 100km home to the stage finish, Craddock was assessed to have sustained a small fracture of his left shoulder blade, and also required stitches to his left eyebrow, having been left covered covered in blood from the crash. "Right now, it's extremely painful," Craddock said on the EF-Drapac team ...

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Analysis: Can an American win the 2018 Amgen Tour of California?

LONG BEACH, CA (CT) — It’s the biggest bike race in the United States — but can an American rider win the Amgen Tour of California? Short answer: Sure. Maybe. Now in its 13th edition, the history of the Amgen Tour can be divided into two halves — the era dominated by American riders, and, as … The post Analysis: Can an American win the 2018 Amgen Tour of California? appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Going back to Cali: Deepest field ever for 13th Amgen Tour

LONG BEACH, CA (CT) — The Golden State will see fierce race action beginning Sunday as the Amgen Tour of California hosts its most competitive field to date. Now in its 13th year — and its second as a UCI WorldTour event — the Amgen Tour has drawn deep fields for both the overall classification and field sprints, … The post Going back to Cali: Deepest field ever for 13th Amgen Tour appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Sivakov patiently learning the ropes at Tour de Romandie

Pavel Sivakov of Rusia and Team Sky

After an injury-hit start to his debut WorldTour season, Pavel Sivakov is finding his feet at Team Sky . The 20-year-old was forced to delay his start to racing this year due to a knee-related injury, but he quickly produced results with fourth overall at Coppi e Bartali in March, where he was also part of Sky’s winning team time trial effort. A rather more humbling performance followed at the Tour of the Basque Country, but the neo-pro has been on the front foot already this week at the Tour de Romandie. On stage 1, he marked a late move from Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) on the final climb, before eventually finishing just a minute down on the leaders. "I had a difficult winter, with an ITB [iliotibial band – ed.] injury but I managed to start my preparation in early January. That moved things on a bit, so ...

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Lawless caps off opening part of debut season with Scheldeprijs podium

The Scheldeprijs podium: Pascal Ackermann, Fabio Jacobsen and Chris Lawless

Racing in Belgium is not for the faint of heart and after a few tumbles and a string of abandons, Chris Lawless finally found a bit of luck racing in Flanders. The Team Sky rider navigated a wet and precarious day around Schoten to take third place at Scheldeprijs . After winning the penultimate stage of Coppi e Bartali at the end of March, it is Lawless' second trip to the podium in his fledgeling professional career. "It's good to stay upright in a race in Belgium. I've had a couple of crashes, that's why it was good, and I managed to finish it off with a podium," Lawless told Cyclingnews . "If someone told me before I started that I would get a podium at Scheldeprijs in my first year, I'd have said that I'll be happy with that. I thought it would be difficult to get a win ...

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Tratnik wins the Volta Limburg Classic

Jan Tratnik wins the 2018 Volta Limburg Classic

Jan Tratnik ( CCC Sprandi ) dug deep to win the Volta Limburg Classic in the Netherlands, winning a small group sprint after being caught in the final kilometres of the race. Tratnik won the final time trial stage at the recent Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in Italy and used his speed and pace in the rain-soaked finale. He was away with Oscar Riesebeek (Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij) in the rolling finale. However after Tratnik put his foot out to avoid crashing on a curve, Riesebeek had no where to go and flipped over a gate. Tratnik pushed on alone, was caught by the chasers but still won. More to follow. You can read more at

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SSSRSSP has gone to Italy, France, and Belgium. While the rest of the cycling world is focused on Belgium this week, we’re taking a trip to Spain and can add an extra “S” to the name. Welcome to Shawn’s Shit Small Spanish Race Shit Small Preview. Often times races named after riders have very little relation to the titular cyclist. You’ve got the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race *FN 1 (usually won by a sprinter), the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (short stages, no climbs, and no cigarettes?) the Memorial Marco Pantani (Italian SSR sprinter territory), the Davide Rebellin Young Guns Challenge, the Bo Hamburger, Taco Van der Hoorn, and Davide Malacarne Vegan-Olympics, and the Odd Christian Eiking Totally Normal and Secular Road Race. *FN 2 The Gran Premio Miguel Indurain defies that trend. Miguel Indurain is much like his eponymous race-- not flashy, but reliably good. Big Mig ...

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Rowe, Moscon, Wisniowski in Team Sky's Dwars door Vlaanderen line-up

Luke Rowe (Team Sky)

Team Sky has named their Dwars door Vlaanderen line-up with Gianni Moscon, Luke Rowe, Lukasz Wisniowski and Chris Lawless among their seven starters for Wednesday's race. The quartet will be joined by sprinter Kristoffer Halvorsen, Jon Dibben and Ian Stannard. For Rowe, it will be his second stint on the cobbles after fearing he would miss the Classics altogether following an accident that resulted in a broken leg. He rode his first cobbled race at Nokere Koerse two weeks ago, before riding Milan-San Remo and the recent Coppi e Bartali stage race in Italy. The Welshman has defied expectations in his recovery after breaking his leg in a white water rafting incident last August. Several days after the accident, Rowe said that it was more than likely he would have to miss out the Classics, predicting that he would probably not return to racing until the middle of the season. ...

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Team of the Week: Week 5

Races of the week: Busiest week of the season so far: Two BIG cobbles races in E3 and Gent-Wevelgem One LITTLE cobbles race in Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde THREE French SSSRs in GP de Denain Porte du Hainaut, Classic Loire Atlantique, and Cholet Pays de Loire THREE Stage Races from little (Tour de Langkawi), to medium (Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali) to big (Volta Ciclista a Catalunya) Team of the week: First named rider is the rider of the week and if a rider has a number in parentheses after their name it means the number of times they have made the select Team of the Week here. I gotta say that there’s three-four riders who are in contention for Rider of the Week Naturally they all make the team. In this case I order them by total FSA-DS points they’ve earned for the year. That means....wait for it! Alejandro ...

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Rosa wins Coppi e Bartali

Diego Rosa (Team Sky) in the leader's jersey at Coppi e Bartali

Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi) won the finale stage 4 time trial at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali on Sunday. He won the 12.5km course from Fiorano Modenese to Montegibbio in 19:22 beating race leader Diego Rosa (Team Sky) by 28 seconds and Victor de la Parte (Movistar) by 32 seconds. Rosa's time was enough to secure the overall title at the four-day, five-stage race beating nearest rival Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) by 20 seconds and third placed Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) by over a minute. You can read more at

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Coppi e Bartali: Lawless wins stage 3

Chris Lawless (Team Sky)

Chris Lawless (Team Sky) won stage 3 at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali from a reduced bunch sprint in Crevalcore on Saturday. He beat Italians Paolo Toto (Sangemini-MG.Kvis) and Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani CSF). Lawless' teammate Diego Rosa was in the front group and retained his lead in the overall classification heading into the final stage on Sunday, a 12.5km time trial from Fiorano Modenese to Montegibbio. Stage 3 at Coppi e Bartali was one for the sprinters, a pan flat 171km circuit in Crevalcore. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) won the uphill finish during the previous day's stage 2, however, Rosa placed a close second and moved into the overall race lead. An early breakaway emerged included Remy Di Gregorio (Delko Marseille), Michal Paluta (CCC), Dimitri Peyskens (WB Aqua Protect), Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling) and Christofer Jurado (Trevigiani), Marco Coledan and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia). Bardiani CSF, along ...

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Mollema wins stage 2 of Coppi e Bartali

Bauke Mollema (Trek - Segafredo)

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) claimed his first win of the 2018 season, taking out an uphill sprint win over Team Sky's Diego Rosa on stage 2 of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. Mollema had a strong start to the season with fourth place overall in the Volta ao Algarve, but had a bad Paris-Nice due to an infection. He was pleased to find that he had recovered his form. "I am happy with the win today, especially after the last two weeks; I was not feeling too good, my blood values were not good, and I was feeling tired all the time," Mollema said. "In Paris-Nice I could see something was off: I didn't have the right legs, and I couldn't train very hard in the last weeks. Luckily in the last couple of days, I already felt much better. "Only on Monday evening did we decide that I could ...

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News Roundup: D’hoore wins De Panne, Craddock second in Italy

D’hoore wins De Panne

Lawson Craddock rides well at Coppi e Bartali stage race. D'hoore wins WWT race at De Panne, and more injury updates. Read the full article at News Roundup: D’hoore wins De Panne, Craddock second in Italy on .

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